About the Eastern Cape Region
The Eastern Cape hosts an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, and contains many species needing protection. Encompassing the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany hotspot of endemism in the north-east, the highly-valued sub-tropical thicket biome in the western parts, the fossil-rich Karoo with its highly specialized vegetation types and the eastern-most part of the Cape Floral kingdom, the region hosts a number of national, provincial, local and private reserves that celebrate the region’s diversity. Offshore, several of the country’s marine protected areas (MPAs) are found along the coast, including the recently declared MPA in Algoa Bay.
Currently most of WESSA Eastern Cape’s membership activity takes place in the Port Elizabeth and Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) metropolitan areas, and their immediate surrounds. Our branches and Friends groups organise and support many activities such as conservation, rehabilitation, education, clean-ups, community involvement, doing our best to inculcate the spirit of action and participation in people caring for the Earth. A major facet of our membership activity is to play a watchdog role in protecting the environment.
We are keen to engage with members beyond PE and Makhanda so please contact our regional chair if you are interested in becoming involved with WESSA.
Eastern Cape Projects
Please check back soon
Eastern Cape Branches
Algoa Bay Branch
The Algoa Bay Branch organizes events around its very relevant focus theme of ‘Know your Bay’. These include monthly beach cleanups, talks on the amazing creatures and features of Algoa Bay, and environmental education events during Marine Week. The branch has recently published the educational booklet Know Your Bay: A guide to the features and creatures of our Algoa Bay Hope Spot. Watchdog activities of the group have included public participation in the Algoa Bay Fish Farm proposal.
Contact Algoa Bay Branch
The Grahamstown Branch, which has the rabbit’s ears tree (Oldenburgia grandis) as its logo, has been active for many years. The branch organizes regular educational outings and talks, performs an active local watchdog function, and supports local environmental initiatives.
In 2011, the Branch introduced the concept of having an annual Wildlife Experience, which includes the prestigious Jack Skead Memorial Lecture, as well as outings and other events supported by experts. The ‘Wildlife Experience’ events are a highlight in the Branch’s annual calendar and have covered various themes such as Elephants; Mountains; Forests; Oceans and Coasts; and Human Origins.
Local members and supporters are kept informed of the branch’s activities in a monthly newsletter. In 2014, the Branch received WESSA’s Group Award for its sustained support of environmental work through the years.
Contact Grahamstown Branch
Branch Vice Chair
Eastern Cape Friends Groups
The WESSA Eastern Cape regional committee supports five local Friends Groups who care for several reserve areas and different habitats in the region. These are:
Friends of Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area (FOBWA)
FOBWA promotes the conservation ethos of the area and community involvement with regard to participation, enjoyment, education and safe guarding of all the resources in the area.
Friends of St Francis Nature Areas (FOSTER)
Friends of Van Stadens (FOVS)
Friends of Groendal (FROG)
FROG aim to monitor, improve and protect the environmental health of the Groendal Wilderness Area.
Friends of the Waters Meeting Nature Reserve
This is group has been recently formed in Bathurst to support the local reserve and holds educational talks and outings.
WESSA’s conservation activity started in the Eastern Cape in 1929 with the formation of the Cape Branch of the Wildlife Protection Society of SA, which evolved into WESSA through the years. The society played a major role in the proclamation of the Addo Elephant National Park in 1931. The society evolved with time, with vibrant member and staff activity being focused around the hubs of Port Elizabeth and East London, as the Eastern Province and Border-Kei regions, respectively. In 2014 the two regions were merged into the Eastern Cape Region.
There are no events currently listed for this region.